Do people in your culture "date"?

In another thread the OP mentioned that “we don’t date here,” “here” being Australia. I’ve also heard/read people from European countries say this. If this is true, then I’m curious about how people in your country/culture get to know one another. For example, if you meet someone in a bar or in a class and want to hang out with them elsewhere, how do you go about it? To me, arranging to meet that person another night for lunch or drinks is considered a “date.” Is that what you consider dating, or is it something else? Also, what is your view of the American idea of dating?

Nah, “people in my culture” don’t date. Not out of choice, women shockingly enough, avoid chunky underemployed geeks who are a bit too fond of their own (alleged) wit.

Can’t say I blame them, really . . .

Joke! Joke! Please, no indignant responses. Unless they come attached to dating offers. Seriously, I’ve dated. More than once!

Well we do go on dates in Australia. For instance, we still have the term blind date or first date, but I don’t think we have a dating culture. It’s more relaxed; you go from ‘hanging out’ particularly if you meet through friends first, in a group, then start ‘seeing each’ other, then eventually have the discussion about longer term expectations of the relationship. Getting ‘asked out on a date’ is rare, even through work.

I’ve never heard of any of my friends ‘dating’ - it would only be 'going on a ‘date’. We don’t tend to ‘date’ more than one person at a time, there is a quicker expectation that once you are girlfriend/boyfriend you will be exclusive without this having to be negotiated. I you are seeing more than one person chances are it will be much more casual are you won’t consider any of the time you spend with any one of them to be a date or relationship.

I think the nuances are subtle, but are there. Here’s a quick sum up of Australian dating customs.

I don’t know, maybe it seems like a stupid question. I just wonder how two people who are interested in getting to know each other better do it without “dating.” Maybe someone will answer.

Thanks. Didn’t see your post before I posted that last thing.

Interesting article.

I think it’s both a linguistic and a cultural difference.

People in the UK don’t generally describe either themselves or others as “dating” someone. A date is something you go on to explore hooking up with another person in some form or other; so a “first date” would I guess mean exactly the same thing here as in the US. But if you’ve gotten to know each other a little and are some sort of couple, you don’t “date”. I’d provisionally suggest that the rule of thumb is that once you’ve stopped numbering “dates”, you’re no longer going on dates (if you see what I mean).

People here “go out together” or “see each other”. I have no idea how those terms relate in terms of experience to an American couple “dating”. I’m not even clear if two people “dating” in the US would necessarily consider themselves a couple.

I think the prevalence of dating in the U.S. is overstated a lot of the time. The way most people get together is the same way that Australians and Europeans describe it. You meet someone through some mutual channel and start doing things in groups and then alone. I don’t know many men that just ask out females that they don’t already know to a fancy dinner although you can in some contexts and some people do it. You almost have to do it in school because there are functions where bringing a date is expected and some people go to bars to meet someone brand new or just hook up for a fling but it isn’t something most people spend a lot of their life doing.

I am curious from the other side though. Dating websites are popular in the U.S. and account for a significant fraction of relationships and even marriages. Do people use those a lot in other countries?

Seems to me (though I’m as likely as usual to have missed the point) that the difference isn’t that we don’t go out. Of course we go out, and asking someone (possibly a random stranger) out for a coffee/meal/drink/movie would be considered “a date”. You’ll quite regularly hear people saying that they have a date tonight, including people who’ve been in that relationship for a while. The difference is that we don’t date several people at a time the way it seems is common in the US. If you’re seeing someone, you’re seeing them, and then you either get serious or you move on - people don’t usually overlap, unless it’s extremely casual and in the first couple of dates. I’d be surprised at least if I found that I was seeing someone and they were seeing someone else on intervening evenings.

Yup, same in the UK. Most couples I know meet, get drunk, kiss/shag, see each other again either individually (which they might call a date) or in the same group of friends, kiss/shag again, and then they’re seeing each other.

Dating websites are introducing more formal dates, but still I think most people don’t date multiple people unless they openly state that they’re poly.

Often people will have been seeing each other for a while before they have a proper date, in the sense of arranging to go out and do something together where they definitely won’t see any of their friends.

Interesting perspective on American dating. It’s actually quite unusual for Americans to date more than one person at a time, though. At least, past the second or third date. Third date is generally where monogamy is assumed, although it’s still a little iffy, and “I didn’t know we were exclusive!” is a defense, but one met with eyebrows raised.

So it sounds, at least so far, as if the only *real *cultural difference is the use of the term “dating” to describe the behavior, which, actually, I hardly ever hear IRL. “We’re going out” (which doesn’t mean we’re leaving the premises tonight, it means we’re regularly enjoying each others’ company in a romantic, if not sexual, way) or “I’m seeing someone” (ditto) are far more common. “I have a date” is still used, but it’s used as much to describe a dinner and movie with your husband post-kids as it is a new paramour - it tells you nothing about the commitment level of the datees.

This would be preferable to me. I would prefer dating just one person, but in my experience men prefer dating multiple people and rarely if ever committing to one. Before my second marriage it seemed like the model you describe above prevailed, but since my divorce I’ve encountered the “dating multiple people” scenario again and again, which necessitates, at some point, the “exclusivity” talk. I liked the old way better.

I’m from Australia and - perhaps this will add insight into at least what my perception of “dating” is - I’d be extremely surprised to find out that a person would be dating multiple people at the same time, and being open about it. It just doesn’t seem like an acceptable thing to do - of course this opinion would vary from person to person let alone culture to culture.

I don’t hear anyone IRL use the term dating either and I agree it’s unusual for Americans to date more than one person for any length of time . I think non-exclusive “dating” was more common in the US in the 50s and maybe 60s than it is now. I wasn’t around then, but that’s the impression I’ve gotten from old TV shows, movies etc.

another social casualty of AIDS, I suspect.

Well, I’m from Mexico and as far as I know, people don’t really date here. You just become friends with the person first, then if you really like them, ask them to be your boyfriend/girlfriend. THEN you start going out with them, to eat, to the movies, etc. At least that’s the way it was when I was in high school (10-13 years ago). But I’m pretty sure things have changed since then, specially with the influence of American TV shows aimed at teens and that sort of stuff.

I have no idea how adults do it. I guess they go to bars? I don’t know. I don’t care. I don’t date at all. I know, I’m no help.

The description of Australian “dating” sounds very much like what my (American) high school senior son and his friends do. They go out in mixed groups and gaggles to various activities and hang outs - I don’t think any of them are “going steady” or paired off.

People in Japan date, but there does seem to be less of a dating culture. There is definitely less inter-mingling of the sexes. Many marriages are still arranged.

I agree with the people saying that none of this sounds very different. If you are seeing multiple people, you aren’t dating.

And don’t let the people who talk about open relationships fool you: they are decidedly not the norm. There is a concept of “playing the field”, but once a relationship has started, it’s assumed to be exclusive unless stated otherwise.

BTW, I’ve had 3 or 4 girlfriends in my life, and I’ve only dated twice with the same woman (who never became my girlfriend).

Exactly. So much not the norm that we’ve had to invent a whole new slew of vocabulary words. It’s very definitely a minority, and the onus is on poly people to make their rules known, as monogamy is definitely the default assumption in American relationships, even fairly new ones.

Maybe so up in the inaka “sticks”, but down here in Tokyo, you see many people going out.

Similar to what turtledove river says, Japanese will “confess” (愛の告白 《形式》 a declaration of love) to the other person, and then if the advances are accepted, they become a couple.

A very common thing is for there to be a gokon (合コン), or groups of equal numbers of men and women, as small as three of each. If people are interested, they exchange contact into and then meet up separately.